I tried to resist ...

Every Friday night, Trish and I pick up Frankie and go out for dinner. It's a fun ritual I've come to look forward to. We dine at a variety of (kid-friendly = LOUD) restaurants; anything from the heavenly Pig Iron Grill to Whole World, a vegetarian place. Last Friday, we went to the latter. Frankie got a hummous platter (hummous and veggies), Trish got smoked beans in tomato sauce over cornbread and I got a tofu sloppy joe sammich topped with sprouts on a hamburger bun (whole wheat of course). The last three times we've been there, I've liked it more and more. I keep trying to resist so I can fulfill my meatly needs, but I just keep getting lucky with their menu.

A few weeks ago, I got their version of Gado-Gado. Gado-gado is and Indonesian dish whose preparation varies greatly depending on the source. Basically, it's steamed veggies on rice with a peanut sauce over it all. Whole World's variation made a stew of veggies in peanut sauce which was ladled over rice. Unbelievable. I still have fond memories of it. They also have a HUGE variety of veggie burgers (soy, veggie, lentil or rice-based). Every variety I've tried so far is pretty darn good.

So, if you crave meat, go to Pig Iron; if you can do without, Whole World won't disappoint.

Kale, sausage, gmelli, pine nuts, raisins & grilled cheese (and my failure to give my daughter a nutritious meal)

Kale, sausage, gmelli, pine nuts, raisins & grilled cheeseThe other night, I had prepared a favorite of ours. Kale, braised with a touch of garlic for a couple hours, combined with toasted pine nuts, gmelli, sauteed Italian sausage and raisins with a healthy dose of olive oil. A good hearty meal for a cold night.

Instead of trying to get this meal past Frankie, I caved like a sopping-wet piece of cardboard and just made her a grilled cheese so I could enjoy my meal without a 40 minute negotiation session on eating a couple bites of the meal.

It worked, but I still feel the guilt.

Original recipe for this dish. Enjoy.


Sunday Morning Waffles

Sunday Morning WafflesI'm one of the few who don't like Silverton's book. I think her starter preparation is tedious and unnecessary. Starters are robust and don't need to be fed and nurtured 3 times a day. You can let them turn green, shave off the mold and perk 'em up again with a few replenishments of flour and water. Catching them at their prime for optimal leavening ... now that takes a skilled baker and LOTS of practice.

The only recipe from her book I absolutely love is her sourdough waffles. It's robust and easy. A friend of mine gave me some of the starter prepared by her method and I've kept it for years (thanks Gary!). I refreshed it a bit this weekend in preparation for Sunday waffles. Kind of a regular thing in our house. I altered the recipe a tad to incorporate cornmeal to give the waffles an interesting extra flavor. They were unbelievable and we had plenty to freeze.

Silverton's Waffles - modified a bit by me.
Night Before:
white starter, ca. 1 cup
unbleached white flour, 1 C
cornmeal, 1/2 C
milk, 250 g (ambient temp)
butter, 114 g (melted and cooled a bit)
salt, 1.5 t
brown sugar, 1 T
-Mix and let sit 8-14 hours covered with a towel.

Next morning:
Add two whisked eggs and 1/4 t baking soda
Mix, will be a thick batter

Make waffles (I never lube the waffle iron)


Panini Press

Alright, this blog shits the bed in frequency of posting. And, now, in quality.

But, I couldn't resist disclosing this one. I love a hot grilled sandwich. Last night for dinner, I was pressed for time (as usual with both working, daycare, etc.) and I went for a quickie but goody. My Mom's panini press did the trick. We had cheese and mortadella on oat bran bread. Sounds weird, but kids like weird things. We had our sandwiches and a vast selection of crunchy veggies on the side and voila! Dinner.

So, toss those fancy panini irons and use a piece of foil and an iron on high. Butter the outsides of the bread, put favorite fillings in sandwich, place the sandwich in foil folded in half and grill a few minutes on each side. My favorite is thinly sliced cheddar and thinly sliced tomato on a good crusty white.

Thanks Ma.